|If I could do it over again...|
In 1953, Henry climbed off the bus in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with a battered army duffel bag and $57.38 in his pocket. Korea was behind him.
‘Nothin’ and no one can tell me what to do!’ he thought, striding to the nearest bar. ‘I am my own boss…’ as he ordered his first beer. ‘…ain’t nobody gonna tell me what to do and when to do it…’
A few beers later, Henry trudged up the steps of the dingy slop-house hotel, and threw himself across the narrow bed. “I am my own boss…” were his slurred words as he dropped into a dark sleep.
The next morning and every morning after for forty years, Henry would get up and go to the factory job he found through an old army buddy. Every night for forty years, Henry went to the same bar and the same hotel room.
The factory and the bar were his family for forty years.
Then in year forty one, Henry coughed up blood, and was told he had two months to live. ‘…ain’t nobody gonna tell me what to do…” He sat down on the steps to the hotel and read the doctor’s report from the VA hospital. ‘…ain’t nobody…’